Cuban Health Workers Denounce the ‘Collapse’ of the Hospitals in Matanzas

In recent days, complaints from health workers working in Matanzas hospitals have multiplied. (Facebook / Pedro Betancourt)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 June 2021 — The authorities insist that they will double the number of intensive care beds in the province of Matanzas, which today is at the forefront of COVID infections in Cuba. In addition, the Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal Miranda, said that they will send the 6th year Medical students who have passed their exams into the hospitals.

The situation, they acknowledge, will get worse. “We must be prepared for an increase, greater than the increase we have had with respect to other stages,” said Joel Queipo Ruiz, a member of the Secretariat of the Party’s Central Committee on Monday.

“The concern is greater given the increase in cases among pediatric ages, although none are in serious condition,” reports the official press.

In turn, Vice Minister Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca conceded that one of the main problems of the people of Matanzas is “the quality of patient care,” for which he urged an increase in the number of isolation centers and a “comprehensive” increase the conditions of these.

In recent days, complaints from health workers have multiplied in Matanzas, where the island’s main tourist destination, Varadero, is located, and 5,831 patients were reported in the last week.

In the corridors of the Julio M. Aristegui de Cárdenas hospital, Matanzas, beds are piling up due to the increase in Covid cases. (Screenshots / collage)

A nurse from the Faustino Pérez hospital in the provincial capital who says his name is Javier Alejandro Velázquez Hernández denounces that the hospitals have “collapsed.”

“I want them to tell me where these conditions are, when the hospital does not even have a stretcher to receive a patient in the emergency room,” he writes in a post published this Monday on social networks, in which he also warns that the center is “without water for more than six hours in two periods of the day.”

In the emergency room there are more than 50 people “between relatives and patients,” without being able to admit the patients. “We are working on a razor’s edge with Covid-positive patients,” he protests.

“Do not deceive the people any more, do not expose your staff any more,” he lashes out at the authorities. “They spend it in office meetings, but no one gives solutions. This is a chronicle of a death foretold.”

Similarly, a video published by CubaNet this Sunday showed how the Julio M. Aristegui hospital, in the municipality of Cárdenas, is at its capacity limit, with stretchers and patients accumulating in the corridors.

The independent newspaper also recalled that other hospitals in the province, such as the Echevarría polyclinic, in Cárdenas, or the Mario Muñoz Monroy hospital, in Colón, are in a similar situation.

The numbers of positives in Matanzas include a growing number of Russians, who expressed their outrage on social media at being “imprisoned” at their hotels in Varadero. Local employees, however, had complained to 14ymedio that these tourists represent a risk, since they do not wear a mask or respect security measures.


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